Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 20, 2013.

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As we move into the digital age, the Hippodrome Cinema must retire its 35mm projector and accommodate the needs of film studios

As we move into the digital age, the Hippodrome Cinema must retire its 35mm projector and accommodate the needs of film studios nationwide!

Go Digital or Go Dark

Starting in 2014, movie studios across the nation will discontinue making 35mm prints, our primary format of film presentation, and will transition to digital. Different from playing traditional DVDs and Blu Rays, this digital change, which will come in the form of a Digital Cinema Package (DCP), will mean that films will arrive in a higher quality format that is also easier for studios to transport. Audiences will leave the cinema with an incredible experience including a clearer picture and crisper audio.

According to Variety magazine, 90 percent of screens worldwide will be digital by the end of 2013. Article: Digital Cinema Conversion Nears End Game 

Without this necessary change, studios will not supply cinemas like ours with a wide selection of films. As a result in the long run, our cinema will have to close – go dark.

It’s Not Our Cinema; It’s Your Cinema!

The departure from 35mm to digital distribution and projection is monumental. Our challenge is that the equipment’s final cost is $40,000. Although we have received $25,000 in grant funding, we are looking to raise an additional $15,000 to purchase a DCP.

The DCP specifically includes:

  • NEC S2k D-Cinema Projector .69”DMD
  • Includes lens, lamps, and IMS integrated media block server system 
  • Ethernet installation cable kit for use with IMS 
  • CyberPower system for server and automation
  • Kelmar Media projector shelf 
  • CRU Port adapter for DCI IMS servers 
  • Digital cinema audio processors 
  • Odyssey AES16RJ-SNY board to connect CP750 to IMB server audio
  • Shipping & handling 

We must raise our goal of $15,000 in order to receive any of our Kickstarter proceeds, and one-hundred percent of the $15,000 will go toward the DCP. If we surpass our goal of $15,000, the additional proceeds will go toward purchasing new chairs with cup holders, remodeling the projector booth and remodeling the interior of the cinema.

To Move Forward, We Must Look Back: “Hipp” History

Established in 1982, the Hippodrome Cinema is recognized as Gainesville’s finest forum for independent film dedicated to presenting the best of independent, documentary and world cinema; promoting visual literacy and making film a vibrant part of the community.

Throughout the cinema’s existence, we have been receiving 35mm films in large tin canisters. Once we receive the films, our projectionists must piece the film reels together and prep them for show time. Once they are prepped, they are run through our large, vintage projector that contains pieces from 1913.

Original 35mm projector
Original 35mm projector
Platters where the 35mm film is put together
Platters where the 35mm film is put together

Since its creation, the Hippodrome has screened movies from film festivals worldwide including the Cannes International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, SXSW, Telluride Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and more! We have screened a plethora of Golden Globe & Oscar worthy films including March of the Penguins, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Pan’s Labyrinth, Super Size Me, Rust & Bone, Arbitrage, Food, Inc. and more.

Over the past 31 years, the Hippodrome Cinema has also hosted countless film festivals including the Cinema Verde Environmental Film Festival, Film Flex, the Gainesville French Film Festival & the Gainesville Jewish Film Festival.

Currently, we host monthly programming efforts including Cinema Lounge, a specialty film program where unique movies are screened for one night only and are followed up with special guest presenters. This program has allowed our audiences to learn directly from filmmakers and experts on the film’s subject through live talkbacks and Skype Q&As.

Hippodrome Cinema at the Downtown Arts Festival
Hippodrome Cinema at the Downtown Arts Festival
Buck visits the Hippodrome Cinema
Buck visits the Hippodrome Cinema
Sing for Life performs at Cinema Lounge screening
Sing for Life performs at Cinema Lounge screening
Skyping at one of our Cinema Lounge events
Skyping at one of our Cinema Lounge events

Additional programming efforts have included live music prior to shows, summer camp screenings, cult classic screenings, conservation and sustainability presentations, Hippodrome celebrations & more.

Challenge. Educate. Inspire!

This change will allow the Hippodrome Cinema to continue presenting programs that draw on the power of film to challenge, educate, and inspire; to transport us to worlds beyond our own; and to foster community through shared dialogue and cultural experience.

Making Headlines!

The Hippodrome Tries To Go Digital - GTN News Story (2013) 

Reel Review: Laurence Anyways – June 28, 2013

Reel Review: From Up on Poppy Hill – April 21, 2013

“Film on Florida Wildlife Corridor being screened Tuesday” – April 26, 2013

"Josh Radnor will appear on Skype in Hipp Screening" - Oct 18, 2012

"Lots of color...and pride" - Sept 9, 2012

"Update: Hippodrome Cinema hoping to reschedule Skype with Mike Birbiglia" - Sept 14, 2012

"Hippodrome screens 'Bully,' offers special events" - May 31, 2012

"Single-night film screenings make way to local theaters" - March 28, 2012

"Hipp Cinema to celebrate its 30th anniversary" - Feb 6, 2012

"French film festival begins at the Hippodrome" - Jan 19, 2012

"Eastside grad, Hipp alum returns as associate producer" - Dec 17, 2011

"Environmental film festival returns" - March 17, 2011

“UF documentaries to be screened at the Hipp” – July 16, 2010

“Film festival offers taste of French life” – Jan 17, 2009

“Dance of My Heart’ closes out Latino Film Festival” – Oct. 15, 2008

“Hipp holds over ‘Diving Bell,’ features post-screening talk” – Feb 15, 2008

“The Hipp: 25 years of provocative foreign, indie and art film” – Jan 19, 2007

“’Transamerica’ gets art-house opening at Hipp” – March 4, 2006

“Film is not your usual airport flick” – June 16, 2004

“Controversial movie opens” – Nov 14, 2002

Special thank you to our fabulous Hippodrome team who have made this Kickstarter possible!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Our biggest obstacle is the ability to find the funding and install the equipment in a very short time frame. There is approximately 6 months before the industry makes a complete transition to digital. However, even if 35mm remains available, it will drastically impact the number and artistic quality of the films that are available for us to present to our audiences. In addition, the digital installers are booked many months in advance making advanced planning and scheduling even more critical.

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